England results 'not where we expect them to be', says RFU

By Sports Desk November 27, 2022

England's results this year are "not where we expect them to be", the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has accepted, as questions continue to be asked of Eddie Jones' future as head coach.

The Red Rose lost 27-13 to South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday to round off their worst calendar year since 2008 in terms of results, having lost six of their 12 Tests in 2022.

England were booed off the field after losing to the Springboks, but Jones, under contract until after next year's Rugby World Cup, remained bullish and said he "does not care what other people think".

The RFU has made clear England's form heading into a World Cup year has not been good enough, however, and meetings will now be held to review what changes can be made.

"We would like to thank England fans for their patience and support, it matters to us how they feel," RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said in a short statement on Sunday.

"Like them, we are really disappointed with the results of the Autumn Nations Series. Despite strong individual performances and some great new talent coming into the team, the overall results are not where we expect them to be.

"The review panel will hold a series of meetings in the next two weeks to discuss the Autumn Nations campaign and how improvements can be made ahead of the Six Nations."

England begin their 2023 Six Nations campaign at home to Scotland on February 4 as they seek to win the championship for a fourth time in eight years.

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    Temba Bavuma made a magnificent century as South Africa produced a record run chase to beat England by five wickets and seal an ODI series victory.

    Jos Buttler top scored with an unbeaten 94 from 82 balls, while Harry Brook (84) and Moeen Ali (51) struck quickfire half-centuries to get the tourists up to an imposing 342-7 at Mangaung Oval on Sunday.

    That was not enough to set up a series decider, though, as captain Bavuma (109 off 102) crafted his first international century for a year as the Proteas pulled off the highest successful ODI run chase in Bloemfontein.

    David Miller finished off the job with 58 not out from 37 balls as South Africa boosted their chances of securing direct qualification for the World Cup in India this year, consigning England to a fifth consecutive loss in this format.

    Jason Roy fell for only nine after scoring a century in the first ODI on Friday and Dawid Malan (12) also failed, but Brook and Buttler put on 73 for the fourth wicket.

    Brook raced to a half-century before falling to Aiden Markram and Moeen kept England ticking along nicely with his skipper until he played on to a delivery from Anrich Nortje (2-64).

    Buttler and Sam Curran (28 off 17) cut loose as the world champions took 60 off the last four overs to seemingly take the upper hand.

    Bavuma led by example to get his side off to a blistering start, combining with Quinton de Kock – who took a blow on the wrist while keeping but did not appear to be hampered – for 77.

    Olly Stone (2-48) got rid of De Kock but Bavuma was in great touch with support from Rassie van der Dussen (38) as England – who left Jofra Archer out the paceman's long-awaited return in the opening match – were unable to halt the flow of runs.

    Bavuma fell scooping Curran into his stumps soon after bringing up a sublime third ODI hundred to end a stand of 97 with Van der Dussen, who then became Adil Rashid's (2-72) second victim.

    Heinrich Klaasen (27) failed to build on a start, but Miller and Marco Jansen (32no off 29) got South Africa home with five balls to spare – the left-hander fittingly winning it by clattering Chris Woakes for six.

     

    Brook and Buttler pummel Proteas attack

    Brook has made a great start to his international career and showed his class in only his second ODI after being dismissed for a duck on debut two days earlier.

    He struck four sixes and seven fours before Buttler provided a late onslaught, getting his side up to a big total with support from Moeen and Curran.

    The skipper cleared the rope on three occasions and struck eight boundaries, shifting through the gears in explosive fashion.

    Brilliant Bavuma sets up record chase, Miller delivers again

    Bavuma had not reached three figures for his country since his hundred against India last January, but he ended that wait in style.

    With South Africa battling to seal their World Cup spot for the tournament in India, Bavuma batted beautifully to lay the platform at the top of the order.

    Miller thrives on the responsibility of being the finisher and he delivered once again, hitting three sixes as South Africa bettered their previous best ODI run chase on this ground of 274-4 against Australia in 2020.

  • Nortje burst inspires Proteas win over England after brutal Roy century Nortje burst inspires Proteas win over England after brutal Roy century

    Jason Roy's magnificent century was in vain as a hostile spell from Anrich Nortje inspired South Africa to a dramatic 27-run win over England in the first match of the ODI series.

    With little margin for error as the Proteas battle to qualify for this year's World Cup in India, Rassie van der Dussen made a brilliant 111 and David Miller 53 as the hosts posted 298-7 at Mangaung Oval on Friday.

    Jofra Archer (1-81) was expensive on his long-awaited international return in Bloemfontein, where Sam Curran (3-35) was the pick of the England bowlers.

    Roy struck a sublime 113 from 91 balls, combining with Dawid Malan (59) for an opening stand of 146, but the world champions collapsed to 271 all out to go 1-0 down.

    Paceman Nortje claimed 4-62, while Sisanda Magala (3-46) and Kagiso Rabada (2-46) also played a big hand as the tourists capitulated and South Africa made a great start to the three-match series with so much at stake.

    Captain Temba Bavuma (36 off 28 balls) and Quinton De Kock (37 off 41) put on 61 for the first wicket before both were both sent packing by Curran.

    Van der Dussen and Miller added 110 for the fifth wicket, the number three pacing his knock superbly, with Archer given the treatment in his first England match for almost two years.

    It had looked like being a procession for England when South Africa-born Roy and Malan got them off to a flyer, only for the latter to strike a Magala bouncer high in the air for Bavuma to take.

    Magala also removed ODI debutant Harry Brook after Nortje saw the back of Ben Duckett, but Roy raced to his hundred in only 79 balls as the boundaries flowed. 

    England were 196-4 in the 30th over when Rabada dismissed Roy and Jos Buttler kept them ticking along with a patient 36, but they crumbled after Nortje had the skipper caught behind in a brilliant spell.

    Tabraiz Shamsi sealed a stunning win by getting Olly Stone caught and bowled in the 45th over.

     

    Roy returns to form in spectacular fashion

    Opener Roy was left out of England's T20 World Cup-winning squad last year, but he showed what he is capable with a powerful knock that included 11 fours and four sixes.

    He has now passed the 4,000-run milestone for England in ODIs with 4,106 in total. Among England batters, only Joe Root (91 innings) reached that mark in quicker time than Roy's 105 innings.

    Rapid Nortje burst decisive

    Van der Dussen was outstanding with the bat as he ensured South Africa posted an imposing total, but it did not look like being enough as England appeared to be cruising to victory.

    That was until the rapid Nortje came to the fore with a brilliant spell, taking 3-14 in four overs to turn the tide and rock England. Buttler, David Willey and Archer – out for a duck on his return – all fell to the fired-up fast bowler, who totally changed the game.

  • Bernard Laporte quits as French rugby chief after corruption conviction Bernard Laporte quits as French rugby chief after corruption conviction

    Bernard Laporte resigned as president of the French Rugby Federation on Friday as his hopes of returning to power in time for the Rugby World Cup crumbled.

    The former France head coach stepped back from his latest position with the federation (FFR) in December after being given a two-year suspended prison sentence and a €75,000 fine for corruption.

    He denied wrongdoing and intends to appeal against his court punishments, which meant the FFR did not immediately oust Laporte and instead decided to render him effectively powerless pending the attempt to clear his name.

    Sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera called for Laporte to go in December, however, and he chose to permanently step down in the wake of clubs this week voting against his choice of president-delegate, Patrick Buisson.

    Around 2,000 clubs took part in the vote, with 51.06 per cent saying they did not approve of Laporte proposing Buisson for the interim role.

    The Rugby World Cup gets under way in France in September, and Laporte, president since 2016, had appeared eager to be back in charge of the FFR by then.

    Les Bleus won the Grand Slam last year, and Laporte departs just eight days before the 2023 Six Nations begins.

    Reports said Laporte delivered news of his resignation to the FFR executive committee on Friday morning at a meeting in Marcoussis, on the outskirts of Paris.

    Oudea-Castera later told reporters: "I can give you confirmation of the resignation of Bernard Laporte. I welcome this decision, it was necessary at the end of this consultation in which the clubs were massively mobilised.

    "The ethics committee played its role of supervision in this time of consultation which went well with dignified debates. Bernard Laporte drew the conclusions, which is a good thing for French rugby, its values ​​and the future."

    Laporte stepped down from his role as vice-chairman of World Rugby within hours of his conviction in December, which also saw him banned from rugby involvement for two years pending the outcome of any appeal.

    Laporte was released without charge on Tuesday of this week after being detained as part of a tax fraud investigation.

    His lawyer, Jean-Pierre Versini-Campinchi, told the AFP news agency that Laporte had "neither been accused of having defrauded nor of having received any money".

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